Even though we’ve been together for 15 years and married for 8, we still make sure that we have ‘date nights’. Cheesy? Possibly. Sanity-saving? Definitely. Expensive? Depending on your childcare arrangements – but I still maintain it’s worth it. Dating your spouse can be a marriage-enhancing activity that can bring you closer.
It isn’t always easy to find the time (and sometimes the energy) to dress up, put your lippy on and make a reservation at a great restaurant (and lord knows in Cardiff we’re spoiled for choice) but here’s why I think dating your partner is very important and why date nights should regularly appear in your diary.
Relationships are always in a state of flux and can be very complex. Make sure you understand and take an interest in what is going on in your significant other’s life by spending quality time with them.
Protect the intimacy you both shared in the early days by nurturing it with special time doing the things you both love – and those things that drew you together in the first place. Mat and I spent days exploring National Trust properties and finding cosy country pubs to dine at.
Going out just the two of you allows you both a brief break from your busy lives and gives you the chance to focus on each other and rekindle your romance.
Once that connection between you is lost there is a danger that your relationship will wither and you’ll be ‘just friends’ or worse, ‘ships that pass in the night’ – all too easy when you both have busy jobs.
As with anything in life, the more effort you put in, the more you are likely to get back – and it’s no different with relationships. There are many sad stories of couples who, when the kids leave home, have nothing in common anymore and very little to say to one another.
That’s why prioritising adult time is as important as family time. Everybody benefits.
Every day, you and your partner may be pulled in many different directions – kids, chores, friends, work, elderly parents – the list can be endless. Making time for a date night ensures your connection is kept at the top of the to-do pile and will give you a mini holiday from all that ‘noise’.
Why not take the opportunity to reminisce together about the things you did before you married? If things have been a bit rocky of late, it may help you remember why you fell for your partner and why you made that public commitment to spend the rest of your lives together.
When you continue to date your spouse, it sends out a strong message to everybody around you. It shows them exactly how important your relationship is to you and also how much you value your partnership with your other half. This is a great way to show your kids how special a strong relationship can be.
If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll be slightly scandalised but happy to see you go out holding hands. It’s good to model affectionate behaviour for them.
It can take time to find the right babysitter and yes, it can be an extra expense so you could compromise by finding some lower-priced venues to visit.
The more time you spend with each other, the stronger your bond is likely to become. Remember the days when you only had eyes for one another?
If currently, you are so overwhelmed by your daily commitments that, come nighttime, you just want to get into bed and sleep, it may well be time to find ways to bring the passion back to your relationship.
If you spend your days grouching and grumping at one another because you’re both tired and at the end of your tether, a date night can be a valuable opportunity to get some well-earned downtime.
Stress can be a big threat to a happy marriage or relationship, whether from parenting, finance or romantic issues. It can change not only our behaviour but that of those around us as they struggle to deal with the more negative behaviours stress can cause.
Tension at home could affect not only the parents but the children too and studies into the health of children living in hostile households have shown them to have greatly raised levels of anxiety hormones.
When you date your spouse or partner you are openly demonstrating your commitment and devotion to them. It’s you and them against the world. Separation is certainly not on the agenda.
A date night is an opportunity for couples to discuss their hopes and dreams and what they want their future to look like.
It’s good to get your partner’s perspective on things and, if you are prepared to really listen to each other, you’ll find you can learn a lot.
Sometimes you might want to address things that have been bugging you, or a behaviour that you wish would change and it’s far easy to discuss these things in a relaxed setting where you can really hear your partner’s responses.
A caring partner can provide support that carries you through all sorts of personal challenges, even minor ones that are just enough to ruin your day. They can give you the confidence to make vital changes and remind you that yes, you are an attractive, worthwhile person.
We don’t stop being a woman just because we’re a mother, do we?